Radical Constructivism

A Relativist Epistemic Approach to Science Education

Andreas Quale

This book addresses the topic of science education, from the viewpoint of the theory of radical constructivism. It takes a closer look at the "image of science" that is projected, in the presentation of it to students and to the general public. This leads into a broad discussion of the notions of learning and knowing, specifically referring to issues of epistemology (the nature of scientific knowledge) and ontology (what science can tell us about the world), and the implications of these issues for science education. In particular, a detailed analysis is given of the dichotomy of relativism vs. realism, and its consequences for the concept of truth in science.

Researching Technology Education

Methods and Techniques

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Edited by Howard Middleton

This third volume in the International Technology Education Series provides insights into developments in technology education research in terms of methods and techniques. The importance of the book is that it highlights the uniqueness of the area of technology education in terms of content, and learning and teaching processes, and the need to provide methods and techniques to capture this uniqueness when undertaking research. The book comprises research methods and techniques being used by a range of current researchers. Each chapter includes details of the method or technique, but does so in terms of a project where it was used. This provides important contextual material that will help researchers when developing research projects. The book contains research methods and techniques that are new in general as well as ones new to technology education and ones that are variations to existing methods and techniques to make them suitable for use in technology education research.

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Edited by Yew-Jin Lee and Aik-Ling Tan

This book is a compilation of papers from the inaugural International Science Education Conference held at the National Institute of Education (Singapore). The title, Science Education at the Nexus of Theory and Practice, reflects a pressing yet ongoing concern worldwide to integrate theory and practice in science education and the reader will find something of interest to both science education practitioners and researchers. The editors have decided to engage in (written) dialogue before each of the three sections to enrich the experience. Divided into three key sections: (A) Concepts, conceptual change, and science learning; (B) science teacher development and learning; and (C) access to science, accessible science, the 19 chapters will engender food for thought, and in all likelihood, transform classroom practices. All the contributors here provide important insights into the diverse education systems, cultural backgrounds, and societal norms through which science education can be realized.

Science Education in Context

An International Examination of the Influence of Context on Science Curricula Development and Implementation

Richard K. Coll and Neil Taylor

This book presents an international perspective of the influence of educational context on science education. The focus is on the interactions between curriculum development and implementation, particularly in non-Western and non-English-speaking contexts (i.e., outside the UK, USA, Australia, NZ, etc. ). An important and distinguishing feature of the book is that it draws upon the experiences and research from local experts from an extremely diverse cohort across the world (26 countries in total). The book addresses topics such as: curriculum development; research or evaluation of an implemented curriculum; discussion of pressures driving curriculum reform or implementation of new curricula (e. g., technology or environmental education); the influence of political, cultural, societal or religious mores on education; governmental or ministerial drives for curriculum reform; economic or other pressures driving curriculum reform; the influence of external assessment regimes on curriculum; and so on.

Science Inquiry, Argument and Language

A Case for the Science Writing Heuristic

Edited by Brian M. Hand

Science Inquiry, Argument and Language describes research that has focused on addressing the issue of embedding language practices within science inquiry through the use of the Science Writing Heuristic approach. In recent years much attention has been given to two areas of science education, scientific argumentation and science literacy. The research into scientific argument have adopted different orientations with some focusing on science argument as separate to normal teaching practices, that is, teaching students about science argument prior to using it in the classroom context; while others have focused on embedding science argument as a critical component of the inquiry process.
The current emphasis on science literacy has emerged because of greater understanding of the role of language in doing and reporting on science. Science is not viewed as being separate from language, and thus there is emerging research emphasis on how best to improving science teaching and learning through a language perspective. Again the research orientations are parallel to the research on scientific argumentation in that the focus is generally between instruction separate to practice as opposed to embedding language practices within the science classroom context.

Teaching Scientific Inquiry

Recommendations for Research and Implementation

Edited by Richard A. Duschl and Richard E. Grandy

What are scientific inquiry practices like today? How should schools approach inquiry in science education? Teaching Science Inquiry presents the scholarly papers and practical conversations that emerged from the exchanges at a two-day conference of distinctive North American ‘science studies’ and ‘learning science’scholars. The conference goal: forge consensus views about images of inquiry that could inform teaching science through inquiry. The conference outcomes: recommendations for “Enhanced Scientific Method”, “Extended Immersion Units of Instruction”, and “Teacher Professional Development Models”. The edited volume will appeal to individuals interested in science learning as well as the design of learning environments. Scholars, policy makers, teacher educators and teachers will find this volume’s recommendations provocative and insightful. Twentieth century scientific advances with new tools, technologies, and theories have changed what it means to do science, to engage in scientific inquiry and to describe science as a way of knowing. Advances in ‘science studies’ disciplines are updating views about the nature of scientific inquiry. Advances in the cognitive and ‘learning sciences’ are altering understandings about knowledge acquisition, meaning making, and conditions for school learning. The conference papers, commentaries and panel reflections advance novel views about both children’s learning and the nature of science.

Towards Scientific Literacy

A Teachers' Guide to the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science

Derek Hodson

This book is a guide for teachers, student teachers, teacher educators, science education researchers and curriculum developers who wish to get to grips with the vast and complex literature encompassing the history of science, philosophy of science and sociology of science (HPS). A number of books cover essentially the same ground, but what makes this book unique is that it is written from the perspective of science education. The author’s purpose is twofold. First, to identify, clarify and critique elements in the HPS literature that are of key importance in developing students’scientific and technological literacy, as defined in the opening chapter of the book. Second, to enhance teachers’ capacity to build and present curricula that afford a much higher profile to HPS than has been traditional. The significance of the book can be judged from the prominence given to nature of science understanding in much recent international debate and writing in science education and in the plethora of influential reports on science and technology education published around the world that identify HPS knowledge and understanding as central components of 21st century science education.

Zakia Belhachmi

From a rationale of multiculturalism and a based on systemic approach grounded in the Arab-Islamic tradition, this book integrates history, education, science, and feminism to understand the implications of culture in social change, cultural identity, and cultural exchange. Dr. Belhachmi’s praxis maintains the relationship between socio-political movements, and their corollary scientific movements to explain women’s role in social change of the Arab-Islamic world; thus linking the region’s past and the present in a historical continuum. In one masterful move, she immediately engages into a discovery -journey of the 13 century old Arab-Islamic socio-cultural and intellectual history; thus exploring the independent Arab-Islamic Worldview of development, modernism, science, education, and discusses the corollary socio-political and reform movements that integrated women in the region’s governance over time. Thus, she not only highlights women’s involvement in social change as a recurrent cyclical phenomenon in the region, but also chronicles the women-led independent 120 years of Arab-Islamic feminist science.
Above all, Dr. Belhachmi offers an innovative operational three-levelled model of analysis of education and feminist practice that reconciles particularism and universalism, and yields to systemic analyses of women in education cross-culturally. In doing so, the book shifts focus from the “woman’s question” into the more radical issues of “women’s science” in the Arab-Islamic culture; illustrating with the work of al-Sa'dawi (Egypt) and Mernissi (Morocco). As such this study is both a groundbreaking epistemological study on the role Arab-Muslim women and social change over time, and an essential textbook on women in contemporary Arab-Islamic education, and social sciences.
In a tour de force, Dr. Belhachmi reclaims Arab-Islamic feminist scientific legacy as organic to the region’s institutional memory and its collective cultural reference, while restoring to Arab-Muslim women feminists; including herself, their epistemic space within the contemporary multi-discursive practice/space of international feminism.; thus offering us a timely pioneering book on Arab-Islamic feminist epistemology. Equally, she provides us with a new scientific framework for self-representation and cultural exchange much needed both in international education and “a new feminist international order.”
In brief, this is an original scholarly work that provides us with creative empowerment methods, qualitative methodologies and holistic conceptual tools; thus enabling us to re-think our “rapport to knowledge” and the place of knowledge itself and how its related research strategies can move us beyond the pitfalls of cultural relativism and scientism. As such, this is an invaluable addition to the literature on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that will benefit the layman tremendously; and a must reference for specialists and students alike.

The Culture of Science Education

Its History in Person

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Edited by Kenneth Tobin and Wolff-Michael Roth

The Culture of Science Education: Its History in Person features the auto/biographies of the professional lives of 22 science educators from 11 countries situated in different places along the career ladder within an ongoing narrative of the cultural history of the field. Many contributors began to identify as science educators at about the time Sputnik was launched but others were not yet born. Hence the book articulates the making of a field with its twists and turns that define a career as a scholar in science education.
Through the eyes of the contributing scholars, the development of science education is seen in the United States and its spread to all parts of the world is tracked, leading to a current situation where some universities from overseas are exporting science education to the United States through graduate programs—especially doctoral degrees. Other key issues addressed are the conceptual personae, such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, who have shaped the field of science education and how publishing in English in high-impact journals and obtaining external funds from private and governmental agencies have become driving forces in science education.
The Culture of Science Education: Its History in Person was written for science educators with an interest in the history of science education as it is experienced as lived culture. The book is intended as a reference book for scholars and as a text for graduate students involved in science education.

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Edited by Brett E. Shelton and David A. Wiley

A series of well argued but surprisingly entertaining articles go far to set the very foundations ofthe field of digital game based learning. This book is absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in games and learning and will be for years to come.
James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State University
Learning from serious games generates emotional discussions about the feasibility of games as effective learning devices. It is refreshing that the authors are committed to taking an empirical approach to the study of games and education—one of research and grounded theory, rather than advocacy. This volume in an important step in beginning to move beyond hype to a more firm foundation for the use of serious games.
M. David Merrill, Instructional Effectiveness Consultant, Visiting Professor Florida State University
This volume shows that serious inquiry into serious games is a real and valid pursuit. The book conveys that what we can gather about how people learn within computer-based games, and using games, contributes to how we go about designing new educational games, and using games in more formal learning environments. It offers a convergence of thoughts, perspectives, and ideals. . . that may not always agree, but lays all the cards on the table. It’s very useful to get all these perspectives in one place. The authors further substantiate that research into this emerging area is one of promise and one that yields important results—providing impact across industry and academia.
Clark Aldrich, Author of Simulations and the Future of Learning and Learning by Doing.